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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  May 13, 2013 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT

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captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> brown: president obama called targeting of conservative groups by the i.r.s. "outrageous," and vowed to get to the bottom of the scandal. good evening. i'm jeffrey brown. >> woodruff: and i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight, we examine the allegations the agency singled out groups with the words "tea party" or "patriot" in their names. >> brown: then we get the latest on the trial of the philadelphia abortion doctor found guilty on three counts of first-degree murder. >> woodruff: we talk to marcia coyle about today's unanimous supreme court decision, upholding monsanto's patent on soybean seeds. >> brown: margaret warner updates the winners and losers in saturday's election in pakistan, marred by violence and allegations of vote rigging. >> woodruff: hari sreenivasan has the story of the genocide
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conviction of former guatemalan dictator ephraim rios montt, as seen from inside the courtroom last week. when the verdict was read, total chaos broke out. there was a swarm of cameramen who just encircled the defense team looking for that shot of the century. >> brown: and we close with the voices of african-american poets, compiled in a new anthology of contemporary verse. >> the purpose was to identify, nurture and promote and publish new black writers. >> brown: that's all ahead on tonight's newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> more than two years ago, the people of b.p. made a commitment to the gulf. and every day since, we've worked hard to keep it. today, the beaches and gulf are open for everyone to enjoy. we shared what we've learned so
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>> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> woodruff: there were stern words at the white house today over i.r.s. targeting of tea party and other conservative groups. president obama said he first learned about it last week, and he warned it won't go well for those responsible. the president's rebuke came as he answerd a question at a joint news conference with british prime minister david cameron. >> if you've got the i.r.s. operating in anything less than a neutral and nonpartisan way, then that is outrageous.
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it is contrary to our traditions, and people have to be held accountable and it's got to be fixed. >> woodruff: the news broke last friday that i.r.s. agents had applied extra scrutiny to groups with tea party or patriot in their names when they applied for tax-exempt status. the head of that i.r.s. division apologized on friday. lois learner said it took place during the 2012 campaign. she blamed low-level officials in the agency's cincinatti office which handled the applications. but additional reports over the weekend said learner herself was informed of the targeting as early as 2011. other reports claim that the i.r.s. also zeroed in on groups that focused on government spending or educating americans about the u.s. constitution. that information was basedded on a draft report from a treasury department inspector general.
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the president said today he will wait for that investigation to be completed before making a final judgment. >> this is something that i think people are properly concerned about. the i.g. is conducting its investigation, and i am not going to comment on their specific findings prematurely. so we'll wait and see what exactly all the details and the facts are. but i've got no patience with it. i will not tolerate it. we'll make sure that we find out exactly what happened on this. >> woodruff: lawmakers from both parties also demanded answers. on sunday republican senator susan collins of maine told cnn that she doubts the misconduct was limited to low-level i.r.s. staffers. >> i just don't buy that this was a couple of rogue i.r.s. employees. after all, groups with
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progressive in their names were not targeted similarly. there's evidence that higher-level supervisors were aware of this. and the i.r.s. was not forth coming in telling congress about the problem. >> woodruff: florida republican senator marco rubio went further. in a letter to treasury secretary jack lu today, he called for the resignation of acting i.r.s. commissioner steven miller. the senate's democratic majority leader harry reid also spoke out. >> the alleged actions of i.r.s. employees in the cincinatti field office would be a terrible breach of the public's trust. whether investigating conservative groups or liberal groups, they should not be involved in this. targeting any group based on its political stance is completely inappropriate. >> woodruff: the chair of the senate finance committee, montana democrat max baucus, has said his panel will look into the matter. and two republican committee chairs in the house also have
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vowed to investigate. late today the house ways and means committee announced it will hold a hearing this friday. to help us understand the tax law, and what the groups are charging, we are joined by duke university law school professor richard schmalbeck. he's a former tax attorney. and former i.r.s. attorney jay sekulow. as chief counsel at the american center for the law and justice, he is representing tea party organizations. he also hosts a conservative talk radio program. gentlemen, welcome to you both. jay sekulow, let me start with you. let's go back to the application that these groups made for tax-exempt status. what sort of tax treatment exactly were they asking for? >> most of them were asking for, our clients were asking for c-4 status which allows for the money given is not taxable. it's not tax deductible by the donor but it's not a tax event to the organization. so it was a 501c-4 legal status.
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the application actually is very straightforward. the first series of questions were not terribly imreus i have. it was the second round of questions that were very imreus i have and has caused the problem here. >> why if they were seeking this status, which is tax exempt as we just heard him say, why then are they eligible for tax exemption? >> well, there are a number of organizations that are eligible. i think in many cases, the primary explanation is that they are simply not activities that are engaged in for profit. the normal course of things wouldn't be that they would generate profit. they spend their funds on activities that advance some purpose. in the case of c-4 organizations, they're considered social welfare organizations. they are presumed to advance social welfare. so it includes things like volunteer fire departments. it includes organizations, i
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believe, the a.c.l.u. is a 501 c-4. i think the national rifle association is a 501 c-4. >> woodruff: jay sekulow, i just want to pursue this very quickly because some people are confused about the term tax exempt. they're seeking this status even though they pursue a very strong set of beliefs, as we just heard, whether it's the national rifle association or another group, for example, today i got an email from a group that is a 501 c-4 but they strategically partnered with a republican group. but that's okay, right? >> well, you can't be part of the national republican party or the democratic party, per say, and that's not allowed. but it's exactly what you said. the a.c.l.u. is a 501 c-4. they advance a particular agenda. that agenda is deemed to be beneficial to the social welfare. that includes their educational activities and their litigation activities.
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my clients were engaged in mostly educational activities. they had civic quorums. they had discussions on issues. they were not involved with a particular political party. that's where the line gets different, the standards are different. it's a facts and circumstance test. judy, at the outset i think it's important to understand the 501 c-4s have been around for a long time. the a.c.l.u. has been one for decades. i believe they're completely entitled to it. the fact is what has happened, as the i.r.s. admitted, they engaged in targeted discrimination in picking out the group s with the name tea party or patriot and broadening it out to groups that were concerned about the constitution. the i.r.s. has admitted that but that doesn't prevent what's happened here professor, what normally would happen if a group applying for this status, what is the i.r.s. supposed to do? what kinds of questions are they supposed to ask. >> in this case there is another type of organization also tament exempt called political organizations. they're exempt under section 527
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of the internal revenue code. and the irgs position on this has long been that if you want to be a c-4 social welfare organization, you cannot engage primarily in political activity. and that's defined primarily as essentially more than 50% of your activity. so i think the concern on the part of the i.r.s. -- and i think this is a legitimate concern that they have an obligation to act on -- is that organizations that are probably more accurately considered 527 political organizations prefer to be social welfare organizations under 501 c-4. and the primary reason for that is that 527 organizations have to disclose publicly the names of their donors. and no such obligation exists for 501 c-4 organizations. and so... >> woodruff: jay sekulow, does that sound like the principal distinction there? >> that's exactly the law.
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but the difference here is that the questions that were asked by the internal revenue service in their subsequent follow-ups which is where the questions and the problems started as the i.r.s. acknowledged were outside the scope of a 501 c-4 questions. they weren't relevant to 527 questions. these were not appropriate under any circumstances. >> woodruff: what is an example? how about conversations you had with members of your family and what they may have said to members of congress. or your membership lists. if you're applying for c-4 status, those membership lists are off limits. and the professor is right. that's the difference between a 527 and a 501 c-4. the c-4 organizations can engage in activity that is deemed political as long as that's not their primary purpose. that wasn't the questions though that were asked, judy. that's the problem here. it's the i.r.s. intrusive nature of their question which was created the problem. besides the fact that our
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organization objected to those questions when they were raised, the inspector general acknowledged that that was a problem. that report is about to be made public. that's the only reason that this is out today is the i.r.s. tried to get ahead of it. they asked the wrong questions to the wrong organizations. they weren't looking at the 527 applications. these were c-4s. the i.r.s. could have said well they didn't qualify. that was not what they asked. these were intrusive questions. >> woodruff: professor schmalbeck, what is the limit if the i.r.s. would be asking if they're determining legitimate tax-exempt status? >> one of the problems here is that these questions do seem to me at least in some cases relevant to the question of whether they are more accurately considered political organizations or social welfare organizations. so, for example, if you knew that the primary... >> your membership... ... to an organization were the democratic senatorial committee, that would incline you to think that it was more of a political organization rather
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than a social welfare organization. so things like names of donors are not irrelevant. i am sympathetic to the tea party in this respect though. it is true that if you are awarded c-4 status, your application must be made public. and application is is defined in such a way that it includes all communications with the internal revenue service. so there is a bit of a catch-22 here. the i.r.s. says basically that you are entitled to privacy as to your donors if you qualify for c-4 status, but we're not going to approve your c-4 application until you disclose your donors. once you disclose them to us, they'll be disclosed to the public. there is a problem. that's largely a problem of congress' making. there is a statute, section 6104 of the internal revenue code, that requires that public disclosure of the application materials. that could be amended to permit
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redabbing shun of some of the information that i think they regard as most sensitive. >> woodruff: in less than a minute, jay sekulow, so what questions remain to be answered to get to the bottom of this? >> ner one, we need to know wh because this idea that these were low-level agents or tax-exempt specialist i was in chief counsel's office of the i.r.s. that we were their lawyers so these were not low-level people. these were well trained revenue agents specializing in tax exempt. we need to decide who determined to coordinate these audits, why they picked names to go after, and find out who is responsible. at the end of the day the president said today, if this in fact happened, well, his own staff, his own team has acknowledged this has happened. as i said the white house counsel was notified of this in late april. >> woodruff: and very quickly, professor schmalbeck, what would you add? what questions need to be answered to get to the bottom of this? >> i don't disagree with the list that jay just offered very much. i guess the one thing that i
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would say in conclusion is that when people hear that organizations with the name "tea party" in them have been targeted it's hard to imagine an explanation for that that isn't rooted in political bias. but there is an explanation, possibly, that is rooted in a legitimate effort to try to distinguish political organizations from social welfare organizations. i think if you a people on the street what the tea party is about, i think most o them would say that it's a political organization. so this is at some level a legitimate inquiry even though the i.r.s. may have bungled it. >> woodruff: gentlemen, we hear you both. this story continues. professor schmalbeck, jay sekulow, we thank you both. >> my pleasure. judy, thank you. >> brown: still to come on the newshour, guilty verdicts for dr. kermit gosnell; the supreme court decision on a patent for soybean seeds; the election results in pakistan; the genocide conviction of a guatemalan dictator; and a new anthology of african-american
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poetry. but first, the other news of the day. here's hari sreenivasan. >> sreenivasan: president obama today rejected republican claims that his administration covered up details about last fall's attack in benghazi, libya. four americans-- including u.s. ambassador chris stevens-- died t much of the focus has been on talking points composed just after the attack. it turns out that senior officials pushed to delete references to al-qaeda and prior warnings. but today, the president insisted there was no intent to deceive. the whole issue of talking points frankly throughout this process has been a side show. who executes some sort of cover-up or effort to tamp things down for three days? so the whole thing defies logic. the fact that this keeps on getting churned out frankly has a lot to do with political motivations. >> sreenivasan: republicans are seeking more details from veteran diplomat thomas pickering and retired navy
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admiral mike mullen, authors of an independent review of the benghazi incident. today california congressman darrell issa requested they discuss their findings with congressional investigators in private. democrat elijah cummings of maryland called for public testimony. >> sreenivasan: the president also said today the u.s. is working with britain to keep pressure on syrian president bashar al-assad to force an end to his regime. in turn, british prime minister cameron said there is "no more urgent international task" than ending the syrian civil war. meanwhile, in syria, assad's troops made new gains in a counteroffensive that began in recent weeks. a syrian human rights group said government forces took full control of a strategic town near the highway that links damascus with jordan. rebels withdrew from the area after days of fighting. the suspect in last summer's movie theater shootings in colorado formally asked today to change his plea to "not guilty by reason of insanity." james holmes appeared at a court hearing in centennial. he's accused of killing a dozen people and wounding 70 more last
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july at a theater in the town of aurora. the judge now must decide whether to accept the new plea before the next hearing in the case, set for may 31. minnesota's state legislature moved this evening to legalize gay marriage, making it the third state this month to do so. the governor indicated he'd sign the bill after it clears the state senate. all told, minnesota joins 11 states and the district of columbia in allowing same-sex marriage. rhode island and delaware joined the list earlier in may. wall street began the week on a lackluster note. down 26.81 at 15,091.68 the dow jones industrial average lost more than 26 points to close at 15,091. the nasdaq rose two points to close at 3438. those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to judy. >> woodruff: the philadelphia doctor who performed late-term abortions was found guilty on murder charges today. his case and the six-week trial prompted strong reaction on both sides of the abortion debate. ray suarez has more on the verdict. >> suarez: after ten days of deliberations, the jury convicted dr. kermit gosnell on
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three counts of first-degree murder. prosecutors said gosnell delivered fetuses that were alive, and then snipped their spines with scissors at his wes philadelphia office. one fetus was said to be nearly 30 weeks along. gosnell also was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the do the jury acquitted him of a fourth count of murder. and the judge threw out three other murder charges after the prosecution rested its case. gosnell could face the death penalty. maryclaire dale of the associated press covered the trial. she joins us now. was the jury out for a long time, maryarea? >> the jury was out for ten days. given the nature of the charges and the number of charges alone was not really that long. some people thought it was. but when you think about it, there were five murder charges sent to the jury. it wasn't like there was one gunman with five who killed five people right away. they were five distinct sets of facts in each of the deaths.
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then there were more than 200 abortion law violations as well as racketeering and other charges. so the jury workd long and hard. but their verdict today shows that they looked at each count specifically. they through out a few of the abortion law violations and really worked hard and did throw out one of the murder charges as well as coming back with involuntary manslaughter in the overdose death. so they clearly looked at the facts of each case separately and did not just come up with a generalized one-way up or down on the verdict. >> suarez: after the judge threw out the charges in deaths of other babies, he was finally charged with causing the deaths of people called for the purposes of this trial "babies a, c, d and e." were the circumstances similar in all those cases? >> not exactly. all four babies were allegedly snipped with scissors after they were born alive. but the jury came back and said but the evidence in each case was different. gosnell was said to have only performed two of those deaths and other staff members have
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already pleaded guilty and admitted they killed two of the other babies. the jury again acquitted gosnell of one of the counts. it was a baby that a staff member said they heard whine saw gosnell go into the.. thenh room. nobody testified to being an eyewitness to seeing the doctor allegedly cut that baby. again the jury did acquit on that case while coming back with verdicts of first degree guilt in the other three deaths where again either staffers that were instructed by gosnell or gosnell were seen to have cut the babies. >> suarez: women who sought these late-term abortions submitted themselves to dr. gosnell for this care. were they in any legal jeopardy themselves in violation of pennsylvania's law? and did they testify against dr. gosnell? >> two did testify. one of whom was then a 15-year-old... i'm sorry, a 17-year-old girl. no, they were not in any legal
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jeopardy. i don't know if they were given immunity but i believe possibly the statute would have run anyway. so we only heard from two abortion patients. again one was a 17-year-old who ended up getting an infection. she was the one who her baby was estimates to be perhaps 30 weeks old. staffers were so surprised that they took cell phone pictures afterward. once the f.b.i. recovered the pictures that became some of the pme evidence and most disturbing evidence in the case. that woman testified that she ended up with sepsis and was hospitalized for to weeks. gosnell did not provide very good care of the women themselves. >> suarez: dr. gosnell did not take the stand in his own defense but he has spoken of over time his motivations and his actions at the clinic. how did he explain what he did? >> he sees himself as something of a medical pioneer and an advocate for inner-city women who lack medical care or can't
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access it. he has been providing medical services and abortions in the inner city for 30 or 40 years until his clinic was shut down in 2010. again he sees these women as desperate and believes that he is perhaps helping them get on with their lives and that they're in difficult situations. he says that he thought... he has said that he thought some of them were the victims of abuse or neglect and that he therefore kept d.n.a. samples of the fetuses in case there were court cases over the pregnancies. disturbingly how he kept that d.n.a. evidence was by severing the feet of some of the fetuses. that was quite a disturbing feature of the trial. but we expect that we well might hear from him as he prepares next week to fight to avoid the death penalty in the case. >> suarez: both supporters and opponents of continued legal abortion in the united states had reactions. quickly, what are they saying in the hours since the verdict?
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>> well, it might be one of the few points on which both sides agree. most of the groups i've heard from are, of course, endorsing the verdict. people who are believers in legalized abortion say that the case really demonstrates the need for more access to legal, safe abortions just the kind that gosnell was not providing while people who are opposed to legal abortions say that the case and the very graphic nature of the evidence show that these babies suffer whether the abortions are done in out row or whether they are killed after the fact, after they're born. they believe that the case clearly shows that theas people are alive, you know, feel pain and are most often viable at least after 25 weeks or so. >> suarez: maryclaire dale of the associated press, thanks for joining us. >> thank you very much. >> brown: now, to a legal case watched for its impact on
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agriculture and new technologies, as the supreme court today unanimously found a soybean farmer had violated a patent held by agri-giant monsanto. the decision came after an indiana farmer had his day before the high court. he ran afoul of monsanto's policy barring farmers from saving or reusing its expensive round-up ready soybean seeds from one year to the next. seen here in promotional videos, genetically modified plants are designed to survive being sprayed with monsanto's herbicide round-up. the seeds are patent-protected and the company requires that farmers buy a new batch with each season. instead over eight years, bowman used grain from an elevator that was sold for animal feed and not as seed. he claimed that was not a violation. >> i just looked at it that when they dumped it in there that they had abandoned their patent. >> brown: today the court
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rejected that argument with a unanimous decision in favor of monsanto. the case had been watched for implications in a host of other so-called self-replicating technologies. such as medical research and computer software. in a statement monsanto's lead lawyer said the outcome provides assurance to all inventors throughout the public and private sectors that they can and should continue to invest in innovation that feeds people, improves lives, creates jobs and allows america to keep its competitive edge. in fact though the justices appear to limit their decision. justice elena kagan, speaking for the court, said it addresses this case only. for more on the case and the decision we're joined as always by marcia and for more on the case and the decision, we're joined as always by marcia coyle of the "national law journal." marcia is in chicago tonight. 9-0, the court was quite definitive. what was the winning argument? >> well, jeff, the winning argument really was for monsanto which said that the reliance on
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the so-called patent exhaustion doctrine by the farmer in this case just did not carry the day. i should tell you a little bit about the patent exhaustion doctrine. >> brown: please do. it basically says that after an inventor authorizes the sale of his patented invention or article, the buyer can use it or sell it. but what the buyer can't do is make copies of it. there's a very basic reason for that. because if a buyer could make copies and then sell those copies and somebody else would make copies of the copies, pretty soon there would be no value to the patent that the inventor holds. and the law allows patent protection now for about 20 years. so even though monsanto right now has a monopoly on its soybeans, it won't have it
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forever. but this farmer infringed the patent by... he thought he had a way around the agreement with monsanto. that was to buy soybeans from a grain elevator and then plant them. he argued that basically he was using the seeds the way they were supposed to be used. but justice kagan who wrote the majority opinion said, no, no, the seeds bought from a grain elevator are supposed to be used for consumption not for planting. >> brown: so before we get to the implications for other technologies, just staying on this case, one reason why this got so much attention is monsanto's very dominant position in agriculture. >> absolutely. brown: particularly with seeds. >> absolutely. in fact, i think it's something like 90 to 95% soybean farmers do buy from monsanto because the beans are resistant to, again, a
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monsanto product that kills weeds. so they're very valuable to the farmer. >> brown: the other reason, of course, why it got so much attention was because of the possible implications for other new cutting-edge technologies specifically so-called self-replicating technologies. explain to us what that means. >> well, jeff, right now there's a lot of research and development going on in a number of industries. biotechnology, medicine. one of them has to do with self-generating cells, genetically modified cells. also in what they call regenerative medicine that relies on self-replicating stem cells. so the industries that are involved in this research and development are, of course, you know, very concerned about the kind of patent protection they're going to get for their inventions. i think monsanto spends in
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general over a billion dollars a year in research and development. so these companies want to be able to recoup some of this investment. there is this tension in patent law. patent law protects the invention long enough so that the companies can recoup their investment. on the other hand, it doesn't last forever because they also want to encourage new inventions by others. >> brown: at the same time though justice kagan went out of her way to say that this case is limited to this case, right? to this particular transaction. so where does that leave the law for all these other technologies? >> well, i think the other companies and other... who do other types of technologies, do take some comfort in the fact that the court made clear what the patent exhaustion doctrine really does. on the other hand, it does leave open for another day whether the
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invention that they invent, if it is self-replicating, how the supreme court is going to view patent protection for that particular invention. so, the court is being cautious here and leaving the door open. on the other hand, i think that companies do take some comfort in the ruling. >> brown: and the farmer involved? vernon bowman. what happens with him? >> well, mr. bowman was found that he had infringed monsanto's patent. and he was... monsanto was awarded about $85,000 for the infringement. so mr. bowman is either stuck with paying that award. we'll have to see what happens when the case goes back between him and monsanto. >> brown: marcia coyle, as always, thanks so much. >> my pleasure, jeff. brown: on-line you can follow
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>> brown: online, follow our coverage of pending cases on our supreme court page. there, you also can watch my conversation with marcia about her new book on key moments in the roberts court. >> woddruff: next, to pakistan, where votes are still being counted after saturday's election, but one man is already claiming victory. margaret warner reports. follow. >> warner: election night saw supporters of the pakistan muslim league party or p.m.l.n. pour into the streets in triumph. by today they appeared on course to win a majority in the new pakistani parliament. that virtually guarantees that their leader will be prime minister. he served twice before during the 1990s. >> for the sake of the nation, for your sake, for the sake of pakistan's 180 million people and in order to end this wretched unemployment, poverty and inflation, i want to ask my
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opponents to come and sit with us. >> warner: chief among those opponents was a former cricket player turned founder of the reform-minded "movement for justice" party. but it fell far short of expectation. he spoke sunday from a hospital where he's recovering from a serious fall. he complained of vote riggin rig >> the election was rigged in different ways through the administration. >> warner: this is the first time in pakistan's history that one civilian government is poised to hand over power peacefully to another. 60% of eligible voters turned out. the most in more than four decades. >> i have come with the hope that a new and good pakistan will emerge from this vote. god willing, pakistan will be a prosperous country. pakistan will be a country or people from everywhere in the world will come and invest.
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>> they voted amid heavy security, and in the face of violence by the pakistani taliban. in all, 29 people were killed in attacks on election day including a bombing outside a campaign office in karachi that left 11 dead. the u.s. has had rocky relations with pakistan's government. when it comes to cracking down on the taliban and other militants on both sides of the afghanistan-pakistan border. there are indications that dealing with sharif might be difficult as well. today he said pakistan has good relations with the u.s., but he insisted that highly unpopular u.s. drone strikes inside pakistan must be addressed. meanwhile, city workers in the capital islamabad were taking down election posters today. the final results are expected by midweek. >> warner: "new york times" correspondent declan walsh has
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been covering pakistan for nearly ten years and was planning to follow the country's historic elections from start to finish. but late last week, he was told his visa was being revoked because of his "undesirable activites." he was ordered to leave pakistan by late saturday night, election night. declan walsh joins me now from london. nice to have you back. tell us about getting kicked out of pakistan. what happened? were you surprised? >> i was very surprised. this all started last wednesday night when i was summoned back to my home by police officers who had a letter for me that, as you said, cited undesirable actives, orders the immediate revocation of my visa and told me i had 72 hours to leave the country. we made very stren russ representations to the pakistani government, firstly to try and understand what was the cause for the visa cancellation and sendly to have this order rescinded. unfortunately, that didn't happen. after covering the elections on saturday, early sunday morning, i flew out of pakistan.
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>> warner: do you have any idea what they meant by "undesirable activities?" what they were sensitive about, about your coverage or your reporting? >> no. and this is the question that we asked officials at really every level of the pakistani government from the information ministry up to the ambassadors, military spokes people. we didn't receive an answer. presumably it may have something to do with a story that i have written or that is featured in the "new york times." but really the pakistani authorities have not been forth coming on this question. that's the frustrating thing about this issue for us. >> warner: now on to the election results, there was such a build-upsetterly in the western press and i think even there about this cricket, reform-minded campaigner. but in the end he got totally trounced by one of the two old-time parties. what happened there?
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>> absolutely. certainly everyone in the professional punditry it took them unawares. there was a very strong sense in the last weeks of campaigning that mr. khan was on the up. he had a number of very high-profile rallies across the country. he had a very energetic campaign a lot of his supporters were young people, many of whom haven't voted before. they came out on the streets and were active in the media. he a very high television presence. of course he had this accident just a couple of days before the end of the campaign in which he fell from the stage, hurt himself quite badly, injured his back and then gave a rather dramatic rally appearances by video links from his hospital bed. there was a very strong sense that the momentum was behind mr. khan. this was seen, if you like, as a battle between old-style politics represented by mr. sharif and the outgoing pakistan people's party and this brash new-comer mr. khan. at the end of the day when the
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results were counted it seems mr. pakistani voters actually preferred to go with the traditional choice with mr. sharif who has twice been prime minister before. he took the majority of the votes. >> warner: what sort of changes has sharif said he's going to bring in as opposed to the current people of the pakistan people's party? >> mr. sharif has promised to undo the damage at critics have put it that the previous government had done over the last five years the economy has declined quite sharply. one of the most pressing problems in the country are the electricity shortages. in some areas the power can go out for 12, even 18 hours at a time. so mr. sharif campaigned very heavily on those issues. he blamed the previous government for failing to reverse course in terms of the economy. and he says that he's got a strong record to turn the country around. of course, the other issue that pakistan faces almost equally pressingly is the taliban
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insurgency. all the way through the election, the taliban attacked the candidates from the secular parties. methg that cal about and critics say will be an equally pressing challenge for him when he comes to power. >> warner: so what will this mean for the u.s.-pakistan relationship? both in terms of cooperating against militants, the taliban, and other groups and also in terms of the u.s. plans to withdraw most of its troops, our troops, from afghanistan next year? >> well, mr. sharif is a conservative poll tisch yafn. he's had dealings with the u.s. in the past in 1999 president bill clinton negotiated with mr. sharif to deescalate a nuclear conflict with india. on the campaign trail, he had some tough rhetoric for the u.s. he said he would try to redraw the relationship between pakistan and the united states where pakistan would be less dependent on american support.
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then again, that may just have been campaign rhetoric because it seems that pakistan may require american support in the coming weeks or months to seek a bailout from the international monetary fund. on the terrorism front, mr. sharif has been measured in his criticism of the taliban, but given the sort of attacks we've seen on the democratic system in the last number of weeks it seems inevitable that he will have to face up to that problem. whether he will do so in a manner that will satisfy, if you like, american officials remains to be. >> warner: a stormy relationship. de clan walsh of the "new york times," thank you so much. >> my pleasure. >> brown: next, the verdict in a major human rights case, one we've been following in guatemala. last wednesday, newshour science correspondent miles o'brien reported on the forensic science being used in the genocide trial of the man who ruled that
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country some 30 years ago. late last week, a judge issued a landmark conviction. hari is back with that story. the ruling came friday evening. former dictator ephraim rios montt was guilty in the massacre of more than 1700 mayan indians in the early 1980s. he was a general when he seized power in 1982 through a military coups ruling for just 18 months at the height of guatemala's long civil war. rios montt has insisted he few nothing of any massacres laying the blame to his field commanders. in closing arguments at his trial his lawyers maintained no group was singled out. >> we say irrefutably in guatemala there was never genocide because people were not persecuted because of their ethnicity. >> witnesses testified that the dictator did in fact oversee a
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campaign of rape, executions and razing of mayan villages. rios montt was immune from prosecution until last year. now at age 86 he faces a sentence of 80 years in prison. his lawyers have promised to appeal. the producer on miles o'brien's earlier report is with us now. how significant was this trial for the people there? >> this is huge. this is the first time in modern history that a domestic court has convicted a former head of state on these kinds of charges: genocide, crimes against humanity but for both sides in this case for the people who support the military, who support rios montt and for the nation's majority indigenous population, this is huge. you know, for many people this reopens old wounds.
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the country's 36-year civil war is not that long ago. and literally everyone in this country is still touched by that legacy in one way or another. some people very directly. >> sreenivasan: you were in the courtroom during the verdict. for those of us not following you on twitter and other social media what was the scene like. >> completely surreal. the courtroom holds about 400 people. there were seats for 400 people. i think there were easily 500, possibly 600 people packed into that courtroom. when the verdict was read, you know, the judge began by explaining why rios montt was considered by the court to be guilty of genocide or crimes against humanity. when she actually got to the point of say that he was guilty, there were claps. there were cheers. then people kind of calmed down to hear the rest of what the court had to say. and then after she slammed the gavel on the desk, total chaos broke out.
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there was, you know, a swarm of cameramen who just encircled the defense table and specifically rios montt looking for that shot of the century of this man's reaction. this man whose legacy is indelibly imprinted on this country. and then back in the gallery behind where i was sitting with members of the press, you know, hundreds and hundreds of people were chanting, "justice, justice." and "yes, it was genocide" way was a rallying cry on twitter and in the streets in weeks before this verdict arrived. you could see as you looked around the courtroom, hari, that people were weeping. there were mothers holding their children and kind of swaying to the rhythm. the grandmothers who had testified of being gang raped by 20 soldiers at a time for weeks
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on end. many of these women weren't cheering. they were weeping. it was just such a powerful, powerful moment. >> sreenivasan: how significant is it that they were even able to reach a verdict? >> i think it's extraordinary that the trial came to any conclusion at all. you know, the u.s. embassy here in guatemala issued a statement today urging the society and the guatemalan government to respect the court's outcome. i think that everybody, you know, part of why this matters is because of the question of whether rios montt is an individual is guilty. but part of why this trial matters is that the judicial system here is so fragile. it's just incredible that any case of this substance could come to a completion in a country where a tiny fraction of murders, just murders of everyday citizens now are ever brought to trial let alone convicted. >> sreenivasan: so what happens to these victims now? is there exe sayings?
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who pays? >> victims' representatives say that, look, these indigenous people were robbed of their land. they were displaced from their land. there were subsist ens farmers. many many families in that region lost their bread winners. who should be responsible for them? rios montt estate should pay that out? what about the government of guatemala? i almost think that this is the more contentious issue than whether or not rios montt as an individual can be found guilty of these crimes. the idea of reparations to victims in this case is something that many people in guatemala are... have a very hostile reaction to. so, you know, i spoke with some of the observers and the criminal witnesses in the trial. i remember one of them said, you know, even assuming that the general rios montt stays in
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jail, he'll be fed every night. this woman said. what about us? we still have to worry about whether we will die of hunger. >> sreenivasan: thanks so much. my pleasure, hari. >> woodruff: and an update on today's proceedings. after hari's interview, the court ordered reparations for victims, including official apologies by the state and a national day of remembrance. but the victims won't get the land they requested or any monetary compensation from the government. the a.p. reported that rios montt had been taken to a military hospital after fainting. >> brown: finally tonight, bringing contemporary african- american poetry into the public eye. >> i think we're going to have to admit... >> brown: need to go plan the summer issue of the literacy journal kalalu editor charles
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henry rile finds an embarrassment. >> we have so much stuff. i'm trying to hold back so that we won't overrun. >> brown: he was raised on a farm his parents owned in alabama, he started the journal in 1975. a home for southern black writers who he says were mostly ignored by journals of the day in both the south and north. >> the purpose was to identify, nurture, and promote and publish new black writers. >> we'll just keep going and keep going. >> brown: at age 74 and for the last 12 years based at texas a&m university, he can look back on remarkable success. his journal has helped introduce several generations of now high-profile writers, some of whom we featured on the newshour. former poet laureate read dove. >> sing-song. when i was young the moon spoke in riddles and the stars rhymed.
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i was a new toy waiting for my owner to pick me up. >> brown: national book award winner terrence hayes. >> root. my parents would have had me believe there was no such thing as race there in the wild backyard our knees black with store bought grass and dirt. >> brown: and the current laureate natasha trethewey. >> elegy, for my father. i think by now the river must be thick with salmon. late august i imagine it as it was that morning, drizzled, needling the surface like a net settling around us sneef these and 82 other poets are now part of the latest ambitious project: angles of ascent, a new norton anthology. >> i wanted to demonstrate the infinite variety of voices and
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con content and style and ideas in contemporary african-american poetry. >> brown: the anthology begins with poems from two literacy giants. followed by poets including are writing at the height of the black power movement but the majority of the book focuses on poet's writing after the turbulent civil rights era. >> what fascinated me about the contemporary writer is that turn from the external world into the interior world. not the obsession with, quote, the struggle. not that that is not a valid subject. but that has been written about over and over. and these writers were not committing themselves to the struggle. they were committing their poetry to itself, to its craft, to its beauty. >> brown: that's a good thing, right? >> oh, yeah, that's very positive. i think it's terribly revolutionary. these poets use being black to
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write about larger subjects. >> brown: he says the change has not only broadened the poetry but the audience as well. >> if i'm able to get you to feel what i'm thinking about in a poem and you can identify with it and you proceed to quote my poem, that's revolutionary. you know, because earlier non-african-americans did not go around quoting african-american poets. this is another cover... >> brown: in addition to discovering new poets, he is also always on the lookout for new black artists from around the world. >> collecting art is is an addiction for me. i don't know. i just feel that i have to have things around me that are beautiful. >> many of the paintings end up on the covers of the journals. and this fall he'll publish a special edition devoted just to art. in both art and poetry, he says, the idea is to promote the
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undiscovered or ignored. >> i'm prepared to do battle. that has been my whole life. to do battle with whatever i confront. that is anti-community. not with loud, screaming voices, mind you. or sounding revolutionary. but doing the work necessary to do. >> brown: many many years later you still are on the mission. >> i'm still on the battlefield. that is my nature now. it's in the d.n.a. practically. >> brown: the new anthology is angles of ascent. charles henry rowl thank you for talking with us. >> thank you. thank you for having me. i enjoyed it. >> brown: online, you can watch some of the poets included in the anthology read from their works, including natasha trethewey, rita dove, and kevin young. that's on our art beat page. >> woodruff: again, the major developments of the day. president obama called targeting of conservative groups by the i.r.s. "outrageous," and republicans scheduled the first congressional hearing on the scandal.
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the associated press reported the justice department secretly subpoenaed two months of a.p. phone records from a year ago. federal officials would not explain. but it may be tied to a published story about leaks involving a foild terror plot. and popular psychologist dr. joyce brothers died in new york city at age 85. >> brown: online, families in the u.s. affected by their mixed-immigration status. hari sreenivasan has more. >> sreenivasan: families face difficult decisions when one spouse is a u.s. citizen and the other lacks legal status. listen to the stories of five families who had to decide between leaving the u.s. to remain together or to live countries apart. that's on our home page. and tonight on independent lens, oscar-nominated documentary "the invisible war." filmmaker kirby dick uncovers stories of sexual assault in the military. all that and more is on our web site, jeff? >> brown: and that's the newshour for tonight. on tuesday, we look at a plan to help cities come back after disasters such as superstorm
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sandy. i'm jeffrey brown. >> woodruff: and i'm judy woodruff. we'll see you online, and again here tomorrow evening. thank you, and good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: moving our economy for 160 years. bnsf, the engine that connects us. >> by b.p.
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